The Age, 7 August 2015. Fake foods: Australian producers face Asian retreat in counterfeit battle, by Mark Hawthorne and Jared Lynch.

China is coming under fire from Australian food and beverage producers for counterfeiting Australian goods. Apart from lost revenue streams, there are serious health concerns. To date, AusCham is not aware of any similar examples in Vietnam with Australian producers.

An edited extract of the original article appears below.


…(Branding foreign foods and products as “Australian”) is the new world of counterfeiting and it’s our exporters and consumers who are in the firing line.

Other potentially dangerous products being produced in China include bootleg tattoo ink, which can contain harmful bacteria and toxic heavy metals in cheap pigment.

The growing market for high-end Australian agricultural produce – renowned for being safe, clean and green – has led to the wave of fake foods.

It is claimed some counterfeiters are taking dangerous steps, including dyeing second-grade oranges with inedible paint to pass them off as high-quality Australian brands.

The fakes have hit Australian produce ranging from citrus and stone fruits to honey and wine.

One fake wine brand in China is called “Benfolds”, which uses the calligraphy of the famous Penfolds brand…

(One Australian) company’s marketing and business development manager… (said it was) looking at incorporating better technology on its packaging and authentication methods… (but it was also considering) withdrawing from China if counterfeiting continued unabated…

“It’s detrimental not only to the quality of the brand but also food safety. That’s one of the issues we have is that potentially the product that they put in the box is not safe.”…

Austrade, has urged local producers and exporters to manage their brand and supply chain carefully.The agency believes Australia can still capitalise on the so-called Asian dining boom, given the strong demand for food and food brands from Australia, combined with China introducing more stringent traceability systems.

Austrade has told producers and exporters that using Chinese e-commerce platforms is a way of minimising the risk…


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